ROCKLEDGE, FL — Under a sub-contract from Lockheed-Martin Space Operations, Mainstream Engineering Corp., headquartered here, has successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a new lubrication-free hermetic reciprocating compressor that will operate in a zero-gravity space environment.

The compressor is to be used in a refrigerated centrifuge, which will be placed on the International Space Station. The original centrifuge used a hermetic compressor that was unsuitable for use in zero gravity.

Mainstream developed the unit by modifying a conventional oil-lubricated compressor, and conducted extensive orientation and performance testing. The company has begun life testing to demonstrate at least 4,000 hours of successful operation.

Publication date: 01/22/2001